The Centrale Montemartini is an extraordinary example of the conversion of an industrial archaeology building, Rome's first public power plant, into a museum venue.
The building is a 1912 thermoelectric power plant that was converted into a museum in 1997. Inside it displays sculptures, mosaics, and archaeological artifacts from the Roman era belonging to the Capitoline Museum Collections.
To visit the museum is to take a journey back in the history of Rome: the modern, industrial city, told through the machinery and furnishings still present inside, pertinent to the building's first function; the ancient city, illustrated through some exceptional archaeological finds, displayed where possible by contexts of origin.
Starting with the oldest works of art, dating back to the Rome of the Republican age, the tour winds its way through the grandiose statuary groups of the temples and public buildings of the monumental center, then concludes with the precious sculptures and mosaics that decorated the rich private residences.
On the ground floor is a space reserved for temporary exhibitions.
One room is dedicated to the display of the three cars belonging to the train of Pius IX, dating back to 1858.